On Saturday night, I went to a burlesque show (shout out to Brown Girls Burlesque!). Yes, I, a straight woman, went to a show to watch other women take off their clothes in dramatic and seductive fashion. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The show started with a dancer who wasn’t doing burlesque. She paid homage to old school with her denim mini, fishnets, high-top Converse sneakers and a tank top. A group of lesbians across the aisle were very vocal about how they wished her titty would pop out of her tank top as she popped and locked; they were trying to will a nip-slip. The requests to have performers sit on their laps (not part of the show), the “goddamns” when a performer would bend over or when a member from the audience went on stage for an interview segment (said audience member was very slim; I’m surprised she didn’t topple over her breasts were so big).
It got “worse” as the show went on. They commented loudly about who they like and what body part. One lesbian in the group said the burlesque dancer looked so good she’d choke her out while in bed. My reaction was, “Wow, these lesbians are worse than men! Let’s examine this briefly. See, it can be viewed as “unfortunate” but I’m used to men cat-calling, making sexually objectifying comments. It’s not right, and it does make many women uncomfortable, but I’ve learned to ignore it or defend myself.
When I was first scribbling down this blog post and a World Cup post, I saw a tweet that stood out to me by someone I follow on Twitter.
Here’s what he wrote:
@younghgoesin Female followers tweeting about soccer players proves to me that sexual objectification is a human trait. Quit the hypocrisy.
I can see where he would think folks are being hypocritical because of our exposure to anti-sex, holier-than-thou women instead of women who express what/who they’re attracted to or lusting after. It’s still not acceptable for a woman to behave that way. It’s seen as crass and unladylike. But as a woman, I’m not surprised other women are publicly ogling soccer players. Humans are wired sexually. All life is motivated by the search for food, shelter and procreation. And women will objectify as much as men do.
There was a moment during the show where one burlesque performer turned her back to the audience. She caressed her butt and everyone in the crowd let out a collective sigh of disappointment because she didn’t spread her butt cheeks. The crowd that night was 85% female.
Male strippers make a living, don’t they? Cougars aren’t attracted to 20-somethings because of their intellectual maturity. Yes, sexual objectification is a human trait. Whoever you’re sexually attracted to, I’m sure you’ve objectified them at some point (even if it’s only in your head). How you express your sexual attraction makes a difference. Respect is important. So is discretion. But sometimes you just can’t help but look…hard. There are cultures where women are not taught to embrace their sexual urges and tendencies and it’s forbidden to express them. But those urges exist in women. We’re all not blind. I’m a crotch-watcher. And I don’t apologize for it.